"It was a risk because, you know, you're getting paid $12 bucks an hour, and I'm like, 'Oh my God I might get fired because I just went to New York City and stood in line all day to get this dude a pair of shoes,'" he says.
After waiting in line for hours, security at the event began to turn people away. Gamache threw a couple business cards into the box with Pharrell's shoes and begged a guard to deliver his gift. Through the glass walls of the store, Gamache saw his shoes eventually make it into the artist's hands.
Pharrell was impressed. Not only did he pop out to meet the man who painted the shoes, he invited Gamache to travel with him to the concert that night at Madison Square Garden and promised to post a photo of the shoes on his blog.
"So now I was known as 'The guy who did Pharrell's shoes,'" Gamache laughs. "It was a big break for that time."
Becoming a Brand
Gamache garnered a lot of press coverage around Pharrell's shoes. But despite a rise in orders and the years he'd spent establishing credibility as a legitimate sneaker artist, Gamache still wasn't ready financially to focus on his craft full time. Instead, he took a job selling credit card processors to local businesses.
But as fate would have it, one of the businesses he was set to pitch was a sneaker store. One of the owners immediately recognized him.
"I'm trying to sell them freaking credit card machines and debit processing in a bad suit that was ill-fitting and whatever, and they're looking at me like 'What are you doing here?'" Gamache remembers.
Instead of walking out with a credit card sale, he closed on a gig to paint a mural at the store's new location. After that, he took a job custom-painting sneakers for the same company at a nearby mall and kept a percentage of the profits from walk-ins.